Friday, December 9, 2016

In the loving memory of Sleep..

And using the bathroom alone..

And showering on time or showering at all !

And the day-offs, nightlife, hangovers, and just the usual sanity of life..

And many other daily activities that I took for granted before I had a baby. You can read a thousand books and attend a hundred classes but nothing can prepare you for what comes with a baby than the baby itself.
I went from sleeping 12 -15 hours a day (peak pregnancy bliss rest-hours) to 12-15 min naps every two hours or so. If anything contributed to my postpartum moodiness, that did. Clearly my baby wasn't the one to abide by "sleep like a baby" saying. Sleep like a Baby. WHAT A JOKE !

They are the worst sleepers awake on a creak of the door, or sound of retreating tired feet on a carpeted floor or even a slight whisper not louder than a breathe! Infact I have a suspicious inkling that the one who invented the said saying never had a baby or was referring to someone named "Baby" who had lost it on sleeping pills.

There is also an advice that is passed around a lot - Sleep when the baby sleeps.
I would if I had magical house elves around the house. I don't. Brushing teeth, showering, using the loo, cleaning the house, sorting the laundry, cooking and then eating breakfast, lunch or dinner (time loses meaning when you are on snooze mode for baby alarm)..things one would usually spend an entire day doing would now require to be done in 30 mins. And when you would actually sit down, put your feet up to follow on that advice..poof ! Time's up.

Now, it wasn't always like this, There were some rare occasions when I would successfully tuck in the baby for a nap and sneak out to the bathroom for a long awaited shower/bath. Run the water, 10 seconds in, I could hear the baby crying. Rush upto him and ofcourse, he is still calmly sleeping all snuggled up. Restart the cleansing and I could swear I hear him again! I would stand still concentrating, making sure that is exactly what I hear. 2 seconds later, halfway through my shampoo, I would again be running to my still peacefully asleep baby. This happened EVERY SINGLE TIME I went to use the bathroom. I called them 'phantom' baby cries. The irony is you can't ignore them because the one you ignore, mostly turned out to be the actual baby war-cry.

This paranoia is not of my making because now, 22 months down the line, not just me but everyone else who knows us admits that my little one is a real bad sleeper. I mean even now if he has been sleeping for four hours on a stretch, I get nervous and rush over to check on him. Once I overcome my initial shock of him actually sleeping soundly, I make a mental note of what is working for me - the ambiance, the temp ,white noise, etc. Ofcourse the same thing never works twice.

You know what, it's easier to make plans and create ideas around what kinda parent you would become, but its only when it actually happens that the complete significance of 'desperate time desperate measures' is understood. Like that time when you have been holding your pee in the anticipation that your cluster-feeding baby would let go of you for one tiny moment but he hasn't in the past couple of hours. And you then rush to the loo with that baby still latched onto you hanging for his dear life. YUP, sat on that seat with a nursing baby. Quite a few times.
Or dragging the entire crib to the bathroom to ensure the phantom cries don't bother you or also sometimes so the baby can see you. I tell you, these little human beings make the best trackers. Won't let you out of their sight.
Or when the baby won't sleep anywhere but on you. So they get used as tiny tables for lunch plates or books. Desperate time desperate measures.
The sacred-sanctum-me-zone that used to be the washroom, is now a forced-shared utility space where you always have a little person as an audience. It's either that or discovering how a fully baby-proofed house can be brought down to pieces by a 10-months old in about 30secs.

To be honest, I am not proud about the aforementioned, but it did give me a reality check.  It is not always easy or organised or ideal being a parent, but it has shown me what I am capable of achieving while functioning on a 4 hour sleep and meals that are mostly baby-food leftovers!
I am often told that this will not last forever and am certain it is true. Our little ones grow so fast and the time just slips by. But us..parents? Once a parent, always a parent. No matter how grown up my boy gets, I know I will never stop caring about him, losing sleep over him or making sure he still has a good night's sleep. There are and will be countless sleepless nights, meaningless tantrums and just the general whining. Nothing that the unconditional love that comes with it (and a glass of wine!) can't overcome.

Being a parent is the hardest and the happiest part of my life.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Just had my baby and I felt..


No, before your thoughts wander let me clear that nothing had gone wrong. I had an emergency c-section and had given birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. It was just me waking up post surgery, in an empty room and under the effect of pain-killers which aside from doing their job, were also making me all emotionally unstable.

My husband had just stepped out of the room for a few minutes when I woke up. First thought I had when I came to my senses was to try and feel the wriggle in my tummy. One caused by my baby doing somersaults when he inhabited it. There was nothing except my now squished 'paunch' felt like a big ball of jell-o. That's EXACTLY when I began to cry. I was sad. And alone. And angry. And of course, not in the right state of mind. I did not understand why I felt so. I ought to be happy and full of all those joyful emotions a new mom feels. Instead I felt like I lost a trophy and everything was unfair in the world. Sigh.

I didn't understand then why I felt differently. It wasn't until a few weeks later that an incident made me realize what caused it. I had not slept in weeks and the baby needed nursing round the clock and I was just too tired to take any more. My mother-in-law was with me helping around the house. She offered to take Jamie, my boy, with her for a few days so I can recover...that did it. That's exactly what made me feel sad, angry and what not post-delivery. No, not my mother-in-law! She is a true gem honestly. No, it was how possessive I was (and still am) of my baby boy. Thinking about my baby being with someone else..that made me realize..

I realized that when I woke up in the hospital room all alone , with an empty pouch of a tummy, I had to share. I had to share my precious baby boy with everyone else ! He wasn't just mine now and those little secret conversations, those little flips and hidden jokes we had over the past nine months were now open to all. It wasn't our secret anymore. I wasn't ready to share,not even with his dad. I wanted him all for myself. Selfish, yes. I blame it on the medication ! Also, it didn't help that I was the last one to hold my new born baby. All my family and friends had already introduced themselves to him and I was the last ! I felt so miserable and yet I couldn't express it. Mainly because I wasn't sure why I was feeling all that ,and also because it was nobody's fault. Emotional mess (that lasted a few sore days)..

It wasn't until a half hour later that I got to hold my boy in my arms. He was crying when they handed him to me and I whispered his name and he went quiet. Everyone went quiet.
He recognized me and I fell in love.

I must add here this was all me going through a strange mix of emotions. I couldn't have made it a single day without the unconditional care of my family and friends.. I was really a ticking bomb waiting to blow up any second but they stayed (must have really scaled on their patience tests :D )!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

"You are going to be a mom ! How do you feel?"

Ever since we announced my pregnancy at 12 weeks, I had to face this question a lot..sometimes from complete strangers too.

"You are going to be a do you"

Like a Pigosaurus.

Yup. That was the first response that would pop up in my mind. Of course I didn't say it out loud. For two reasons - First, my hormone-ridden moody-self couldn't be arsed into explaining what that meant and second, it wasn't the expected answer!! Thanks to the cover pictures on the various parenting and baby magazines, a to-be-mom is 'expected' to be that glowing image of a woman of perfect-shape, perfect hair, happily gazing at their perfect round belly while sitting in the balcony of her impeccable home, and did I mention she is always happily smiling at everyone! I was not any of it. Ha !

I couldn't actually decide how I felt. It wasn't as simple as a switch being flipped and turning 'motherly' mode on. Infact, when we went for our very first ultrasound, I didn't know what to expect. So when the technician told me that that loud drumbeat was the beautiful sound of my baby's heartbeat, I exclaimed loudly and said "Really ?? I feel like 'Ripley' from those alien movies!". I know I know, I feel really silly about it now, but gave us a good laugh then. It wasn't until my bump grew to a size of a football and I needed thrice as much space anywhere, be it the couch or getting into the car, that I started feeling different.

There were times though when time would stand still and I would be full of emotions I couldn't describe -
When we would wait in line for routine scans, fingers crossed, nervous as if my exam results were about to be announced (yup..geek to the core), and my darling husband would make a million nervous trips to the loo.. They may be Man-of-Steel but they get all Winnie-the-Pooh when it comes to their baby being born *eye-roll*  
When I would see a little fist covering tiny eyes  and a little mouth yawning...all this going on inside my not-so-little-now tummy, while the technician tried desperately to get a good view of the face.
When the baby did a somersault in my 'trampoline' belly and my tummy wobbled quite noticeably and freaked the hell out of my 20-something bachelor friend..who got so scared he wouldn't come within 20 ft of me. Poor chap.
There were times when I would be grumpy, whiny, tearful and just pure angry for no reason at all, making it very difficult for those around me and always getting my way. I would watch a comedy and cry my eyes out and eat a large double cheese pizza all by myself. Twice a week. I blamed it all on the hormones (and sometimes still do..with two 'kids'-an almost 20 months old and a 33 yr old's a necessity I say :D)

So how did it feel ? Going to be a mom..
Dunno..what would you say to a feeling where you feel incredibly happy, super cranky, tired, restless, sleepy, hungry, emotional, beautiful, fat, more hungry, sick, bloated, energetic, excited, scared, strong, vulnerable, overwhelmed, pee-machine, hot, cold-the-next-second, hungry again, won't move a muscle tired, motivated and lost, confused, confident, did I mention hungry...all at the same time. How do you describe "going-to-be-a-mother" feeling , which emotion do you pick? 

For me, it was feeling all of these all at once. I couldn't put a finger on which I felt more than the other..except that I should probably eat something while I pondered. So I would smile at the question, pick up my just delivered large pizza and put on another episode of Rules of Engagement while I ate my way through it...Like a Pigosaurus.